Meeting documents

SSDC South Somerset District Council
Thursday, 21st October, 2021 6.30 pm

  • Meeting of South Somerset District Council, Thursday 21st October 2021 6.30 pm (Item 73.)

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Full Council agreed in principle to:-

 

a.

commit to delivering on the UK100 declaration through its Environment Strategy and pledges to continue this work and embed it in the creation of Somerset’s new unitary council

 

 

b.

support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill 

 

c.

write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill; and 

 

d.

write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk)

 

e.

continue work on mitigating climate change by pledging to join the UK100 the alliance of local government leaders for cleaner, more powerful communities

 

f.

join the Countryside Climate Network

 

g.

write to UK100 to confirm the above membership@uk100.org

 

h.

inform the local media of these decisions

Reason:

To support the UK100 declaration, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill and to join the Countryside Climate Network.

(Voting: 32 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Environment introduced her Motion and reminded Council that it had declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019 and was working towards carbon net zero by 2030.  This would be delivered through the Environment Strategy and aimed to embed it into the creation of the new unitary council.  She said the Motion supported the Climate and Emergency Private Members Bill, and proposed joining the UK100 and Countryside Climate Network to join with other organisations and local government leaders to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to tackle climate change.  She listed the key aims of the bill to take existing legislation further and noted that the Government were not on track to meet their 2050 emissions target.  The UK100 and the Countryside Climate Network were lobbying for more resource from central government to enable local authorities to take ambitious climate action.  Being part of the network would enable the sharing of knowledge, enable collective lobbying of the government to benefit local communities and ensure SSDC were part of the group shaping national policy to tackle environmental problems.  She concluded that agreeing the motion would demonstrate to communities that SSDC would work with others to do all it could to mitigate against climate change.  She commended the motion to Council which was seconded by Councillor Oliver Patrick.

 

During discussion the following points were made:-

 

·         Climate change was being fought and some battles were won and some not.  Fighting in alliances meant you could do more and deliver more.  

·         MP’s must be encouraged to support the Climate and Emergency Private Members Bill.

·         Concern at people who had recently caused disruption to roads around London to highlight the Insulate Britain campaign and it would be prudent to add some condemnation of this action within the motion.

·         There will be challenges for rural communities particularly in coping with the charging of electric vehicles and also the insulation of older listed buildings.  Some areas of agriculture were ahead in ecology and tackling climate change issues.

·         Heat source pumps were not the only option for the future of heating homes.  Electric space heaters were much more efficient than gas for Co2 emissions and were no longer very expensive.

·         Area East Committee had recently purchased two infra-red cameras to use in rural areas to take pictures of properties to help identify areas of heat loss. This should help householders to insulate their properties where it was needed.

·         Propose that the motion be added to say that SSDC do not support any illegal actions which harm the ideals of the motion (proposal not seconded). 

·         The suggestion to criticise protestors in the motion would only serve to dilute its intention.

·         Rural communities were dependent upon cars as bus services in Somerset were very poor.  We should lobby for more bus routes to take cars off the roads.

 

Councillor Oliver Patrick, in seconding the Motion, said children would study what people were doing now to protect the environment and the Council must act now or there may be further disruptive demonstrations.  The Motion demanded action from world leaders who would be meeting at COP26 in Glasgow shortly and also in South Somerset to ensure the Council was taking action on climate change.  He said SSDC had already taken action by planting thousands of trees, introducing additional kerbside recycling, changing to a renewable energy provider, trialling e-scooters in market towns, installing solar panels on council-owned buildings and EV changing points in council-owned car parks.  But the Council should always seek to do more as proposed in the Motion.  He concluded that he supported the Motion and was pleased to second it.

 

A vote was taken and it was supported by 32 votes in favour and 1 abstention.

 

RESOLVED:

That Full Council agreed in principle to:-

 

a.

commit to delivering on the UK100 declaration through its Environment Strategy and pledges to continue this work and embed it in the creation of Somerset’s new unitary council

 

 

b.

support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill 

 

c.

write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill; and 

 

d.

write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk)

 

e.

continue work on mitigating climate change by pledging to join the UK100 the alliance of local government leaders for cleaner, more powerful communities

 

f.

join the Countryside Climate Network

 

g.

write to UK100 to confirm the above membership@uk100.org

 

h.

inform the local media of these decisions

Reason:

To support the UK100 declaration, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill and to join the Countryside Climate Network.

(Voting: 32 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)

Supporting documents: